I had the pleasure of being asked to write a profile on David Drake a few weeks back, covering the tremendous things he has done to the crowdfunding industry, which has come a long way over the past eight years since the inception of GoFundMe. David is the Founder and Chairman of LDJ Capital, a multi-family office that handles over $1.5 trillion in assets and maintains over 50 global directors and family office partners. On top of that, he is the founder of LDJ Real Estate Group, Drake Hospitality Group, and The Soho Loft Media Group.
First, here’s a little background on David. Born in Sweden, he now has the uncanny ability to speak six languages fluently. He attended undergrad at the American University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and marketing. After receiving outstanding marks at the American University, he was awarded the prestigious Swedish Wallenberg Scholarship for undergrad academics, leading him to move to Washington D.C. There, he attended George Washington University, where he obtained an MBA in Finance and an MA in International Law and Economics.
Where It All Started
Soho Loft Media Group
The Soho Loft Media Group (SLMG) is a financial media company that has shaped the financial world by intersecting with other industries, including but not limited to: real estate, oil & gas, clean tech, renewable energy, crowdfunding, angel investors, venture capital, and institutional investors.
For SLMG, everything began back in 2002 from a 4,000 square foot multi-million dollar loft in New York City. It was the private residence of Mr. David Drake and also event space that held monthly conferences and dinners with hundreds of guests.
Events for SLMG range from Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami to Lake Como, Abu Dhabi, and Beijing, a truly global reach.
JOBS Act, Crowdfunding, & ICOs
Drake collaborated on the 2011 JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups), which laid the path to starting the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA). By working on the JOBS Act, David was able to create new laws underlying all fundraising in the U.S. for all ITOs.
The SLMG set up the first crowdfunding meeting with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for the first time in history on April 20, 2012. Only three people, including David, were allowed to go into a secret meeting with FINRA discussing the crowdfunding laws in North America. David created the Crowdfunding Professional Association, which he split subsequently forming the CFIRA. Both associations met with the SEC and FINRA weekly for five years.
Through David’s work, he was involved with former President Obama in shaping U.S. security laws and permanently altering the SEC founding Acts of 1933, 1934, and the Investment Company Act of 1940. Due to these efforts, an invitation as a thought leader was extended by the White House and the United Kingdom Parliament.
All this has given David unprecedented insight to understand and project liabilities facing the crowdfunding and blockchain industry. Having relationships with regulatory powers keeps him one step ahead of everyone else.
Here is a video of David discussing the JOBS Act back in 2012 at the Global Trade Expo.
David is now an adviser to over 20 ITOs (same thing as an Initial Coin Offering [ICO]). This includes the likes of Qurrex, the first crypto hybrid exchange and LAToken, allowing you to tokenize illiquid assets (cars, paintings, house, etc.), whether the whole or fractionally. Thankfully, as David pointed out, he has 25 employees managing daily interactions with these ITOs. The top 15 ITOs he advised raised $500 million in the last six months. Other ITOs include Universa Blockchain, Credits, Globcoin, and others.
From the day he came upon cryptocurrency and blockchain, David has been a firm believer, giving him and his companies a chance to be first movers in the new space. I am personally very excited to watch him continue to shape this industry, as it is still early in the space. Ten years from now, we will look back at what David and his team accomplished during this time and be amazed at how they forged our future.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.